Game Eighty: Cubs (34-45) vs. Mariners (35-46)
- Game Time – 3:10pm CDT
- Coverage – TV: Comcast SportsNet – Radio: 720 WGN, XM Radio Channels 182/844
- Location – Safeco Field, Seattle
Edwin Jackson (3-10, 5.84/1.56) vs. Jeremy Bonderman (1-1, 3.30/1.23)
The Cubs wrap-up their three-game series this afternoon in Seattle behind Edwin Jackson in search of their third straight series win. The Cubs and Mariners played free baseball in the first two games in large part to the Cubs’ bullpen. With Blake Parker likely unavailable for today’s game, Dale Sveum will have a short-pen and will need a long, effective outing from Edwin Jackson.
The Cubs have played good ball against the Junior Circuit this season and are 9-4 in Interleague play this year.
Alfonso Soriano is expected to be the Cubs’ DH for the third game in a row. Soriano has thrived in the designated hitter’s role in three opportunities this season. Soriano is 5-for-9 with two home runs, two doubles and four RBI over the last two games and 7-for-13 with two home runs, two doubles and three RBI in three games as the Cubs’ DH. For his career, Soriano is 36-for-87 (.386) with nine home runs, 24 RBI and a 1.184 OPS in 25 games as a designated hitter.
The Cubs must make Jeremy Bonderman work this afternoon. The Cubs have been very aggressive at the plate over the first two games and have only one walk to prove it. Bonderman will give them opportunities for free baserunners if they are willing to take it.
Ryan Sweeney’s status for today’s game is unknown after he left Saturday night’s game with bruised ribs. Ryan Sweeney is listed as day-to-day and could receive today off to give him two days to rest before Tuesday’s opener in Oakland.
With Starlin Castro and Alfonso Soriano going deep on Saturday, the Cubs’ offense has hit at least one home run in each of the last nine games.
The Cubs are 11-15 in June and the last game of the month all starts with Edwin Jackson …
After putting together back-to-back solid starts against the Pirates and Mets, Edwin Jackson has lost each of his last two games while looking much like the unconfident pitcher that took the hill during the first two-plus months of the season. Jackson pitched with confidence against a very good Pirates team at Wrigley then followed up his best outing of the season with another better than quality start in New York. Jackson seemed to find a rhythm early and avoided the one bad inning while commanding his fastball and slider.
Edwin Jackson has really struggled over his last two starts and was not able to complete five innings in Milwaukee. What has been described as a weak Brewers’ line-up scored six runs on six hits in 4 2/3 innings while Jackson walked two and struck out only one batter for the second consecutive outing. Prior to his last two starts, Jackson had not recorded only one strikeout in back-to-back outings since June 13 and June 18, 2007. Before his game against the Pirates, Chris Bosio said that he thought Jackson’s struggles this season were more mental than anything else. It appears the Cubs’ pitching coach is right on the money.
Edwin Jackson is 2-3 in his last five starts with a 5.34 ERA and a 1.53 WHIP and makes his fourth career start against the Mariners this afternoon.
Jackson is 3-0 in three career starts against Seattle with a 0.40 ERA and a 0.93 WHIP. Jackson last faced the Mariners in 2009 and tossed 7 2/3 innings of shutout ball. Jackson is 2-0 in two starts at Safeco Field with a 0.61 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP.
Mariners Career Numbers against Edwin Jackson
- Jason Bay – 3-for-11 with a home run and two walks
- Endy Chavez – 4-for-7 with two doubles
- Raul Ibanez – 2-for-10 with a double and two walks
- Kendrys Morales – 3-for-9 with a walk
- Brendan Ryan – 0-for-5 with a walk
Jeremy Bonderman is back in the big leagues after missing all of the 2011 and 2012 seasons. Bonderman began the year in Triple-A after a solid spring and makes only his sixth start in the majors this afternoon. After a rough season debut on June 2, Bonderman has been lights out.
Bonderman limited the Yankees to one run on three hits in six innings on June 7 then tossed eight innings of shutout ball against the Astros his next time out. Bonderman held the Angels on one run on six hits in six innings two starts ago. Bonderman is coming off a no decision against Oakland in which he allowed just two runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The Cubs must make Bonderman work, he will walk his fare share of batters and give the Cubs plenty of opportunities to score … it will be up to them to cash in.
Jeremy Bonderman makes his first career start against the Cubs this afternoon.
Cubs Career Numbers against Jeremy Bonderman
- Julio Borbon – 1-for-6 with a walk
- Scott Hairston – 3-for-4 with a double
- Dioner Navarro – 0-for-2
- Alfonso Soriano – 3-for-10
- Ryan Sweeney – 0-for-4 with a walk
Let’s Talk Cubs Baseball …